Cavaliers soak up preparation time before flying to California

OAKLAND • In the National Basketball Association Finals, the Golden State Warriors will reacquaint themselves with the Cleveland Cavaliers and their old friend LeBron James.

Last season, with the Cavaliers hindered by injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, the Warriors clinched the series in six games.

But Love and Irving are healthy, and the Cavaliers have been resting at home since they got past the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals last week.

Moreover, J.R. Smith and Channing Frye are also on fire for a side who stormed through the Eastern Conference play-offs 12-2.

"Feeling good right now," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.

"Focusing on trying to get better, using each practice, all the time we have to get better."

It was no easy road to the Finals for the Warriors, who have been stretching themselves since the start of the season.

They won their first 24 games to set an NBA record, but their season-long pursuit of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the best record in NBA history seemed to take an emotional and physical toll.

The Warriors won both their meetings with the Cavaliers during the regular season.

Following the second dismantling, the Cavaliers reacted by firing coach David Blatt and replacing him with Lue.

The Cavaliers would have had home-court advantage in the Finals had the Thunder beaten the Warriors.

Instead, the Cavaliers will now have to fly to California for the opener.

"It'll be fun," Warriors All-Star Draymond Green said.

"You know they're rolling right now, they got a lot of guys going, but we're looking forward to the challenge."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2016, with the headline 'Cavaliers soak up preparation time before flying to California'. Print Edition | Subscribe